Bait trap gather to begin in McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area
CODY, Wyo. — The Bureau of Land Management Cody Field Office will begin a wild horse bait trap gather operation on or about November 27 in the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area east of Cody. The BLM will use the bait method; no helicopters will be used.
The Cody Field Office estimates a current population of 181 horses, based on direct counts in 2023. The BLM plans to gather approximately 80 wild horses and remove approximately 41 to reach the high Appropriate Management Level of 140 horses in the HMA. Operations could continue into March.
The purpose of the gather is to return the population to its appropriate management level while maintaining genetic diversity; selectively remove a portion of horses for placement into the adoption program; and capture, treat and release horses for application of fertility treatment. The gather will allow older horses to remain in the McCullough Peaks HMA.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for adoption. Information about how to adopt a McCullough Peaks wild horse will be posted at www.blm.gov/whb in early 2024 and shared via news release and social media.
The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.
Because of the nature of the bait trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach trap sites when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap sites, and the spur roads leading to the trap sites, during operations. Additionally, the recreational use of drones, which could disrupt horse movement, will not be allowed near the trap sites.
The BLM is conducting the gather under the McCullough Peaks HMA Bait Trap Gather Environmental Assessment. The environmental assessment, decision record and other associated documents are available at the BLM National NEPA Register.
Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on its McCullough Peaks gather webpage.
For more information, please contact Abel Guevara at 307-578-5900.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.